After an exciting weekend of FA Cup action up and down the country, the domestic cup stuff continues in midweek with the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Eight teams are vying for a spot in the two-legged semi-finals, with the distinct possibility that another Manchester derby could be in the offing. Best of Bets previews this week’s fixtures here…
Manchester United vs Charlton Athletic
United are on a roll right now. Erik ten Hag can seemingly do no wrong at Old Trafford, leading his troops to a seven-match winning run that most would expect to stretch to eight games after the visit of Charlton.
Dean Holden’s side are mid-table in League One and huge outsiders for this one at 19/1 with most bookmakers. And such is United’s hot streak, having dispatched Bournemouth and Everton at home in the past week, there’s not much value in betting on a home win (1/10). But if they really break the shackles – even with a much-rotated team – a 5-1 win (17/1) or a 4-2 victory (25/1) might be worth your while.
Our tip: United -3 goals to win (13/5)
Newcastle vs Leicester
How both of these Premier League teams would love an appearance in the Carabao Cup final, albeit for different reasons.
For Eddie Howe and Newcastle, the chance of silverware would send a message to their rivals about the new Saudi regime and what can be achieved even in the initial stages following a takeover – we are still less than 18 months on from the new owners’ arrival. Brendan Rodgers, however, has been under pressure at various stages this season and would see a cup final as another chance to emphasise his importance at the Foxes’ helm, having won the FA Cup in 2021.
Newcastle have struggled for goals of late and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend. This one could go to penalties.
Our tip: Leicester to qualify (31/10)
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves
You cannot deny Julen Lopetegui’s immediate impact at Wolves – and he should probably have more points and wins under his belt, too. His record sheet so far reads two wins, a respectable away draw to Aston Villa, a narrow defeat to in-form Manchester United and a 2-2 FA Cup draw at Liverpool that would have been a 3-2 win had it not been for a controversial VAR call.
Now, the former Spain and Real Madrid boss can lead Wolves to the brink of a Wembley final. They are justifiable favourites to beat a Forest side that was embarrassed 4-1 by Blackpool in the FA Cup at the weekend. Put your money on Wanderers here.
Our tip: Wolves to win in 90 minutes (7/4)
Southampton vs Manchester City
This one looks like a mismatch on the form guide and, given Man City’s relentless League Cup record in the past decade, will surely play out that way too. City lifted this trophy in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. And after Liverpool won it a year ago, Pep Guardiola will be desperate to get it back to east Manchester.
Nathan Jones needs to see some improvement from Saints, having failed to have much impact since arriving from Luton. This surely won’t be the game where Southampton’s results rocket skyward.
Our tip: Man City to win to nil (2/1)